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Sebastian Schwamm: Giftychon (detail)

Work / Illustration

Look lively! German illustrator Sebastian Schwamm will light up your eyeballs

Many of us spend our lives bemoaning our unfortunate surnames (who, me?) but Sebastian Schwamm, whose family name is German for “sponge,” is embracing his with admirable zest. “That’s how I roll!” he says on his website, “absorbing anything that life throws at me and wringing it out on the paper.”

Taken literally, his statement kind of infers that Sebastian’s life has chucked six-eyed monster men and flesh-eating cartoon fish at him, if his splash page is anything to go by, but for the sake of his professional reputation we’ll assume that this isn’t true. Not that he needs to impress anybody, with clients including GQ, Die ZEIT and The Städtische Galerie in Munich already at his beck and call. The editorial illustrator has impressive skill for apocalyptic cartoons and scenes so busy and detailed that they’ll have you craning your neck towards your newspaper to soak up every detail, so perhaps his namesake “sponge” applies to his audience, too.

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Sebastian Schwamm: Lenbachhaus “Was tun!”

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Sebastian Schwamm: Lenbachhaus “Was tun!”

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Lenbachhaus “Was tun!”

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Sebastian Schwamm: Lenbachhaus “Was tun!”

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Sebastian Schwamm: Lenbachhaus “Was tun!”

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Sebastian Schwamm: FYFY “Ume Owe Aufe”

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Sebastian Schwamm: FYFY “Ume Owe Aufe”

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Sebastian Schwamm: Faces

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Sebastian Schwamm: Faces